Viva Las Artes! Fall Fundraiser – November 3rd!

Viva Las Artes! 2017 is a special evening that brings together friends, partners and local businesses to celebrate and support our dynamic community art center. This year will feature all things "green" - recycled treasures, local products, services and array of eco-friendly items. The evening begins with a wine bar and sampling of regional cheeses, charcuterie spreads, and a silent auction, followed by a delicious meal and live auction. There are many local products and services and an array of eco-friendly items being featured at the live auction including a weekend getaway for 4 in Montreal, unique jewelry, yoga and massage certificates, a birding hike and tour, and so much more!

Please contact Judith Mathison at [email protected] or (802) 888-1261 with any questions or to purchase tickets.
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News & Notes – Fall 2017

On the cusp of fall, our galleries and program offerings are transforming with the seasons. Before we fling back the curtain on our exciting new schedule however, we’d like to take a moment to share highlights from another magnificent summer of youth programs!

Summer - With fourteen new and favorite camps to choose from, we welcomed over 135 campers, ages 5 to 17 years old, through our doors … singing harmonies, painting GIANT surfaces, cooking mouthwatering international dishes, designing skateboard decks, practicing comedic improv, building imaginative puppets, crazy pinball arcades, delicate fairy houses and awesome forts … all while having fun getting creative. To borrow from last year, the experience can best be described as going to work inside a vibrant, changing, living kaleidoscope that touches all of the senses: Dancing footfalls shake the ceiling, music and song careen down the stairwells, colorful smocks bound about and delicious smells permeate the historic building. Even the rare argument has a refreshing twist, “No, I’m the wind!”.

“My daughter LOVED this camp and gained a lot of confidence, both acting and singing. She was very excited every single day. Jumped right out of bed with a smile!” - All the World’s a Stage Parent

“This was her favorite camp ever! Very impressed … It revised a service to my daughter that she never had the chance to be a part of before. Cooking was always her dream, she learned so much and cooks things for us at home now.” - Summer Chef: Cooking Around the World Parent

River Arts life spills into the community each summer in different ways: Campers worked with Artist/Instructor Jess Graham to create a stunning new mural on the Rail Trail across from 10 Railroad Street on the Morrisville Lumber building; Skate the Arts campers took a special field trip to Burlington to view murals and graffiti art while trying out their new skills on the different skate features at the Burlington Skatepark; A group of industrious teens worked with Artist/Instructor Michael Zebrowski to design prototypes for the upcoming River Works Project Public Sculptures; and we hosted our second summer of free arts activities for kids and families during the Wednesday Night Live concert series at the Oxbow.

“(River Arts) engages children young and old to participate in activities that can be seen by the community. It gives the children a huge sense of pride when they can walk down a street and see their hard work. It also make the kids feel great when strangers comment on how amazing their art looks in the community.”- Mural Camp Parent

A big thank you to our sponsors and foundations: North Country Federal Credit Union, Morrisville Lumber, the Morrisville and Cambridge Area Rotaries, the Brewster River Bike Club, National Life Group, Union Bank, Bourne’s Energy, Cushman Design Group, Community National Bank, Concept 2 and others for their support making our summer programs and financial assistance possible.

And last, but not least, a shout out to all of our talented artist/instructors, partners, volunteers and the amazing families and campers who came together to create such a memorable summer.

Staff & Board - We are thrilled to welcome Judith Mathison as our new Development Coordinator. Judith brings her love for the arts, a Masters of Arts in Arts Administration and her deep connection to the community to the River Arts team. Welcome Judith!

Fall Maintenance - It’s time to focus on appearances and upkeep as summer comes to a close. We’re launching a “Paint the River Arts Center” campaign to help preserve our historic home (and community treasure!), beginning by painting the facade this fall. We’ll need the support of our community for this significant undertaking, and are looking forward to raising the much needed funding to finish next summer. In the meantime, we extend our gratitude to the continued attention and care of Sutherland Welles, Ltd., who have donated their services to keep our floors looking beautiful each year!

What’s Ahead?

Our Fall Fundraiser is here - Viva Las Artes! Friday, November 3rd, 6-9p.m. This year our live auction features all things “green” - local products and services, an array of eco-friendly items and more. The evening begins with wine and a sampling of regional cheese and charcuterie spreads, followed by a delicious meal and live and silent auctions. Mark your calendars and visit our website at or give us a call 802-888-1261 for tickets.

The Annual Figure Drawing Marathon is coming soon - Saturday, November 11 - 12, from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.. Artists and art lovers with all levels of experience are invited to spend one or two full days drawing, painting or sculpting with a diversity of models for inspiration.

We're gearing up to launch our free drop-in youth programs: Music & Movement with Lesley Grant, Open Gym/Playgroup in partnership with the Lamoille Family Center, and BIG & Messy Art Space.

Our Kinder Arts Program is back for it’s fifth year, bringing innovative arts opportunities to children ages 2-5 yrs at 4 participating schools.

Fall Workshops for Adults/Teens - Check out our website for the full schedule. Jewelry, batik, poetry, improv dance, watercolor and more!

Current and upcoming exhibitions include the Annual River Works Group Show, Noyes House Museum historical textiles, Liz Nelson and Cindy Griffith.

Free arts activities for all during Rocktoberfest!

Please come by River Arts and ask about our classes, events, gallery exhibits, or just chat about how we can work together in our arts community … we would love to see you, and hear what your interests are!

Dominique Gustin

Executive Director
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Photo Co-op Contest!

River Arts is holding a photography contest that will begin on August 17, 2017 and will end December 17, 2017. Open to all photo enthusiasts involved with the River Arts Photo Co-op. The Photo Co-op provides photography enthusiasts with a way to gather, promote, and share their experience and knowledge of photography in an atmosphere of camaraderie and fun. Contest participants must attend at least one Photo Co-op meeting to qualify. Prizes: 1st Place- $225 , 2nd Place- $115, 3rd Place- $75, three honorable mentions- $25 each.
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Thoughts from our board

Plastics, Quilts and Fossils:

In Conversation at the River Arts Galleries

Nan Carle Beauregard July 2017

Remember the time when …

One of my fondest childhood memories is of my brother Mark and me combing the hills around our family farm in Ohio searching for fossils. One day Mark found a huge rock full of imprints that looked like fully formed sea shells. It must have weighed 30 pounds and got heavier with each step for a skinny 12-year- old boy who had to push, pull and drag it a very long way back to the farm house. As his 7-year- old sister - I just danced around and watched him struggle on our way back up hills and down again. It was fun to think about - Where did those sea shells come from in the middle of Ohio? How did they get inside the rock? How old is that rock? What are fossils anyway? All kind of questions added to the mystique and beauty of The Big Rock.

All of this is to add background about how these memories resurfaced last week at the Artist Talk at the River Arts Gallery Reception. We were in conversation with Katie Loesel as she described how her art was molded by her interest in geological history. Through her printing process Loesel imagined what our 21 st century fossils would look like to children in centuries to come. Rather than life forms like shells, ferns, birds or bones, she envisioned that today’s imprints would include plastic straws, bags, and bottles. Many of Loesel’s prints in the gallery express her ideas about the features of such fossils. Her print collection and the Artist Talk at the River Arts Gallery brought to life our everyday use of plastics and what happens to them - our legacy to tomorrow’s children.

Elise Whittemore is the other artist on show at the Downstairs Gallery at River Arts. Her woodblock prints were inspired by her study of algae and other specimens from the Pringle Herbarium at the University of Vermont. Much to my surprise, I found myself getting goosebumps as she talked about her story of discovery into her artistic style and her joy of printmaking. She made us laugh when she described the time when her children were at the stage when they kept touching her with their hands covered with paint or chocolate or substances she did not even want to think about. Her experiences as a young mother motivated her to develop a whole series of prints about little hands. Whittemore went on to tell us how her grandmother’s quilts influenced the color combinations for in her current wood print exhibition. Hearing her tell the story of her art and what it meant to her became a thought provoking experience for the assembled audience. The conversation was full of warmth, laughter and understanding. It was a most enjoyable evening!

By listening to the stories of these two artists, I gained new ways of seeing the world around me. As a photographer, these artists have encouraged me to expand my own creative practices and to see a fresh story in the images I capture. All of our stories are very different but they also complement each other and together weave a much richer tapestry of life in Northern Vermont. Our conversations connect us and show us how we are the same yet different. Creativity expands our talents and our ability to strengthen our community. Art matters.

I joined the Board of River Arts two years ago and have especially enjoyed being on the Gallery Committee. I laugh at my sense of certainty about what I like and do not like in the art world only to be challenged to change. Every day at River Arts there is something new and interesting happening with people of all ages, interests and talents. It is a place where we can come together and express our likes and dislikes and learn and laugh at what we say and see. The conversations about art bring us together in unseen ways and offers us a place to think, play and do at all ages and stages of life. Come join in!

The art of Katie Loesel and Elise Whittemore remain in the River Arts Galleries until August 18.

The next Art Opening and Artists’ Talk at the River Arts Galleries will on September 15 from 5:00 to 7:00. The reception will be for a group of artists selected for River Work III.

Join us! Be part of the conversation!

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Gallery Opening & Artist Talk Thursday!

Come out this Thursday, July 13th, to explore and celebrate exhibiting printmakers Elise Whittemore and Katie Loesel's work. 5-7pm, free admission, cash bar.
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What new skills do you want to learn this fall…?

Ceramics? Painting? Jewelry? Poetry? Other? Take a moment and share your thoughts HERE, and stay tuned to sign up!
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Join us for Deobrat Mishra, this Sunday afternoon

Deobrat Mishra, celebrated Indian Sitar player, will be playing a concert with Prashant Mishra on Tabla this Sunday, 3-5pm. Don't miss this exotic musical treat! Proceeds will benefit the Benares Academy of Indian Classical Music and the DAYA foundation prison yoga programs.
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Thoughts from our board…

The Transformative Power of the Arts

I joined the board at River Arts a year ago because I believe that art is the catalyst of positive change in communities, large and small. As an actor I have witnessed, first hand, the transformative power that art can hold. I have performed as a blue man in the show Blue Man Group roughly 4,000 times over 12 years. The character is one that observes the audience and tries to understand how to make this group of strangers a micro-community, if only for an hour and a half. Because of this observational task I was allowed the privilege to witness audience members’ faces soften throughout the show and change from apprehension to pure joy. I am also a cartoonist and have had a couple cartoons published in the New Yorker. Humor in art is transformative because it gives us new perspectives and tools to comprehend difficult and complex subjects (much like the tumultuous political climate we are in right now).

Two years ago I moved to Johnson with my family to teach theater at Johnson State College and I see the transformative power of the performing and visual arts everyday with my students there. Whether it’s uncovering another layer of nuance in Shakespeare’s words or a new approach to a character written by a classmate, I get the inspiring vantage point of seeing these students discover new parts of themselves through art.

Since we moved to the area I was on the lookout for arts organizations that celebrated all ages, all disciplines, and all abilities. Of course, I quickly (and thankfully) found River Arts. In thinking of the transformative power of art I am brought back to the most recent event I attended at River Arts this past Friday called ART 100. The four walls in the upstairs hall were covered top to bottom with original works donated from local artists. There were over two hundred people in attendance with each pair of us waiting for our number to be called. Depending on when your number was up you were able to claim your first, or secondary choices and go home with the piece at the end of the event. The energy in the room was palpable. Strangers and old friends circled the room pointing out which works were their top picks and why. We were able to meet many of the artists and talk to them about their work and their lives. There were representational paintings, photographs of Vermont landscapes, abstract pieces, and even a basket of felted animals. Burgeoning artists, craftspeople, and highly successful career artists all shared space in this hall. What I loved about this event was the fun of being able to pick a piece to take home enlivened and heightened the analysis and discussion of all of the work. Not everyone knows what to say about art when they walk into a museum but everyone has an opinion about what they like and why. This gave a wonderful grounding to the conversations that night even though we were talking about imagery and allusions that are sometimes hard to grasp and articulate. Another thing I loved was I was able to get my first pick: John Sargent’s cropped painting of clouds entitled, “Smoke Screen.” I see the painting as a nice analogy to the power of art as a whole: the image is so cropped that if you are standing close to it you might think that it is an abstract painting but when you stand far enough away it looks like a square porthole cut out of our house, looking to a sky that we might be floating in. This small painting has done the impossible; it has pushed my house up into the stratosphere where dirigibles and rocket ships reside.

-Isaac Eddy

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It’s time to sign up for Summer Camp!

We have some amazing NEW Summer Camps this year. Bring your kids for an exciting, fun summer exploring their creativity, discovering a new passion, and making new friends! View our complete list of camp offerings here, register online or call us at 802-888-1261. Financial Assistance Available.

From cooking, skateboarding, painting, rock n' roll, to theater ... there's something for everyone!
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“Water Power” Group Exhibit CALL TO ARTISTS

The third annual group invitational 2017 exhibition theme is “Water Power.” While the exhibition theme derives it’s name from the Lamoille River which flows through Morrisville, it is not exclusively about rivers and lakes. The theme has as much to do about water’s visual effects and its power to inspire. Artists’ works will be considered which relate to water in all its forms as a natural force and influence in our world. We are currently accepting submissions of work. Learn more details and submit work here.
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ART100 just around the corner!

ART 100 is a unique and exciting fundraising event to benefit River Arts that features an “everyone wins” raffle of original art.  A $100 ticket includes admission for two, the opportunity to take home an original, handmade work of art with a value of at least $100, and delicious food by Susanna's Catering. ART100 is a great way to support the community arts you love, enjoy a wonderful evening out, AND take a piece home with you of a local artist's work! Get tickets Here or call 802-888-1261
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The River Works Project – Community Talk

If you weren't able to make it to the River Works Project Community Talk Saturday, March 25th, you can catch some of the discussion and artist talk with Michael Zebrowski here!
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Saturday, March 25th, 1-3pm

River Arts invites the community to join Artist and Johnson State College Assistant Professor of Fine Art, Michael Zebrowski, in a conversation to learn more about his public art and discuss the upcoming River Works Project.  Attendees are encouraged to bring their stories of the Lamoille River and Oxbow, present questions that they may have about the area, and share their thoughts and ideas for the project. The information gathered at the meeting will be used to inform the work of the students, as they work with Michael Zebrowski to envision, design, build and install the final art installations. Interested in signing your teen up to participate?  Click here and join us on Saturday to learn more!

The River Works Project - Community Talk - Saturday, March 25 The River Works Project - Community Talk - Saturday, March 25  
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AMP Nights – First Event This Thursday (March 23rd)!

Join us this Thursday for our first AMP Night! The evening features an Artist, a Musician, and a Poet (AMP). This first event will feature Ted Zilius, who currently has an exhibit up at River Arts. Also joining us will be musician Ben Cosgrove and Poet Laureate of Vermont, Chard deNiord. Authentic Argentinian fare by El Hornero will be available to purchase and enjoy during the show.

The event starts at 6pm and the doors open at 5:30pm. Tickets are a suggested $10. You can get all the details here on our website. See you there!
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Plays & Pints (March 17th)!

Come out to River Arts tonight to celebrate St. Paddy's Day with Plays & Pints, a show featuring six one-act plays. The show is free and local beer and pizza will be available to purchase. You can read more about the event here. See you tonight!
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Thoughts from Our Board President…

When you're growing up in a small town, you don't really understand the charm portrayed in a Norman Rockwell or Grandma Moses painting until you leave that painting and wander off in search of what lies beyond the confines of your beginning. I vividly remember my first trip to Manhattan, the awe of a teenager, taking in the grit of the subway, the incessant honk of the taxis and the transformative moment when I walked inside MOMA and breathed in that crisp, cool air. I knew I had to live there and be part of that energy and chaos, and learn all of what I was sure I had been missing in rural Vermont. After 18 years living in Manhattan, now what I want to soak up is different. It is the sense of place that you feel in your DNA when you cross the Vermont border, and cry silently and joyfully. It is the memories you have of your Grandmother waving at you, waiting for you, as you bump along the dirt road and into her arms. It is the laughter of people on a February night at River Arts at our first BrewHaHa; the warmth of community that comes alive when people gather for poetry, performance, painting, photography, and yes, even pickles and perch. Part of what I love most about River Arts is that an old-time Vermonter like my father and a fine artist can share the space on an equal footing moored by a love of place. As we worked on our strategic plan this year, we've had lengthy discussions about the buzzword "creative placemaking." Do people know what that means? Is it inaccessible? Does it sound too high brow? As I watched people come together last Friday night, I realized that it's not the term that matters, it's how we make it tangible, and give people an opportunity to create a sense of place together in the Lamoille Valley. And my vision is that there will be a moment (hopefully many) when someone will drive by our historic building, and see a golden glow on the inside, shadows dancing, the music of community; and smile, deeply and widely, knowing that this is home. This is our place in the world.

-- Carey Earle
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Call to Artists!

The Gallery at River Arts, located in the Robert C. Folley Performance Hall on the second floor of the River Arts Center in Morrisville VT, is currently accepting submissions and sending out a call to artists to submit their portfolio for an exhibition in 2017 and 2018. The Gallery at River Arts presents juried, high quality works of art in a wide variety of mediums and styles. Our exhibitions run for approximately two months, with an opening reception and invitation to give an artist’s talk or lead a workshop in conjunction with the show. Please see our website for further information on our programs and exhibitions.

We invite artists to submit images of their work and a brief statement or proposal. Unless special arrangements are made in advance, all work should be ready to hang with our cable system and should be at least 20” x 20”. Submissions are due by March 1 and notifications will be made by March 31, 2017.

Submissions Requirements:

1. Artist’s statement or proposal – 2 pages maximum
2. CV – 1 page
3. Images or video

Images—5 high quality JPG images with a minimum of 2000 pixels for the shortest dimension. Include description, title, size, medium.

Video—Up to 3 video clips of maximum 5 minutes. Use links to artist’s website, YouTube or Vimeo.

Electronic submissions only to [email protected]

We do not accept submissions by mail or in person.
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So much fun at our new BIG & Messy drop-in arts class!

Today we launched our new BIG & Messy - ART Space! class. Little ones splattered canvas-covered walls with a rainbow of paint, made shapes with soft dough, built with blocks and straws, and had a great time. Join us next week for more messy fun - it's free!

Read more about it here and check out photos of today's fun below. unnamed (2) unnamed (6) unnamed (9)
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TONIGHT – Opening Reception for Marie LaPre’ Grabon and Kathy Stark Exhibit!

Join us at River Arts TONIGHT to welcome artists Marie LaPré Grabon and Kathy Stark with their new exhibit Glue, Paper, Scissors.

The exhibit will be available to view through March 5th, during office hours (Monday through Friday, 9am-4pm).

Read more about their exhibit on our website here. See you there!

  Marie LaPre’ Grabon and Kathy Stark "Glue, Paper, Scissors" - in the Gallery at River Arts
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Happy Holidays! Join us for a stroll through 2016 … were you here?

As December draws to a close and we prepare to greet the new year, we'd like to share a special video that highlights and celebrates 2016 at River Arts. You might catch a glimpse of friends and family rolling up their sleeves to paint, sculpt, write, dance, play an instrument, cook a delicious new dish, or participate in one of our events and performances. It was a fun and fantastic year ... enjoy!  

Watch it here.

Many thanks to Kent Shaw for creating this wonderful video!

  Lastly, a heartfelt thank you to our community. Your participation, energy and support is what makes River Arts such a vibrant, special place to gather together, connect, express ourselves and find inspiration through the arts. We've assembled an exciting schedule of new exhibitions, workshops, camps, and performances for 2017 and look forward to seeing you again. Stay tuned, and have a wonderful New Year!  
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